Stevia: The Ultimate Sugar Substitute
It seems like today everyone is trying to cut sugar out of their diets. Trendy sweetener alternatives are continually on the rise, and it's hard to keep track of them all, and to know what impacts each sweetener can have on your body. Have no fear, we at Real Ketones are here to help you to learn more about sweeteners and tell you all you need to know! Read this article to get a breakdown of the three most common sweeteners used today - sugar, sugar alcohols and Rebaudioside A (Stevia), and learn why we at Real Ketones love Stevia!
Classic Cane Sugar
Cane Sugar is extracted from sugar cane and contains 15 calories in the form of carbohydrates per each teaspoon. This doesn’t sound like much, but sugar is easy to hide in many foods and is often over consumed, so keep your eye out on that sugar content on your nutrition labels! Although consuming too much sugar can be detrimental to your health (consuming too much sugar can lead to many serious conditions including diabetes and heart disease), consuming it in moderation may be a healthier option than some sugar alcohols, which may contain artificial pesticides or herbicides. It is likely that less chemicals have interfered with the growth of sugarcane compared to alternative sweeteners, as they are less regulated from environmental protection laws.
Alcohol you ask? Don't worry, sugar alcohols do not contain the same alcohol as you get in a glass of wine or a beer. They are called alcohols due to how the body absorbs and processes this type of sugar!
Sugar alcohols have fewer calories than sugar themselves, ranging from 1-3 calories per gram, compared to natural sugar containing 4 calories per gram. You can see that switching from sugar to sugar alcohols can have a significant effect on your calorie intake for the day. Be conscious of key phrases such as “sugar free” and “no sugar added”- these foods will likely contain sugar alcohols, some of which are deemed "safe" for a low carb/keto dieter, while others can spike your blood-glucose higher than regular sugar- yikes! Sugar alcohols are found in many foods including ice cream, gum, cookies, candy, and other similar products.
Here are some common sugar alcohols:
Erythritol and Xylitol: Very common, natural sweeteners. Generally keto/low-carb friendly, but can lead to GI discomfort pretty quickly.
Maltitol and Maltodextrin: RUN! These artificial sweeteners are used in many "sugar-free" candies and are known to spike your blood sugar higher than even sugar itself!
Sucralose: Also known as Splenda. While generally ketosis safe, sucralose can increase your urge to snack and therefore sabotage your health goals if not careful!
While utilizing the proper sugar alcohols, the body will not absorb them as quickly as it absorbs regular sugar, which allows your blood sugar levels to remain constant (no blood sugar spikes), with the intake of these alcohols. As a result, sugar alcohols, if monitored, can be a good tool for this lifestyle.
Stevia (Rebaudioside A), Our #1 sweetener recommendation and what we use in our Real Ketones products!
What makes Stevia such a stand out to us? It is a low-calorie, natural alternative to sugar, and makes for a safe and trustworthy option. With one packet, which is equivalent to 2 tablespoons of sugar, it has only five calories and one gram of carbohydrates. Studies also show that there are health benefits that derive from Stevia, including decreased risk of hypertension. There is also evidence that suggests that Stevia may reduce blood glucose levels and the risk of metabolic syndrome. Stevia is a safe alternative to sugar and using it in moderation can help reduce the risk of obesity and general inflammation, and also releases hormones after consumption that promotes a sense of satisfaction after eating, which is the opposite of how classic sugar reacts in your body once it is digested! Stevia is also 30 times sweeter than sugar, allowing for much less consumption in order to receive a similar level of sweetness compared to classic sugar and sugar alcohols. Due to all of these benefits, we at Real Ketones choose to sweeten our products with Stevia to give our customers like you the safest products possible!